Lent: So Much More Than “Giving Things Up”

Lent resources from Loyola Press

It’s time that we got past the idea of Lent as simply a season of “giving things up.” While that is a part of Lent, if it stops there, it is like someone joining a 12-step group and thinking that achieving abstinence from the addictive behavior is to be equated with sobriety. Abstinence from the addictive behavior is only the first step in what must be a holistic plan for recovery that addresses behaviors, emotions, and mental health. Sobriety is a new way of living. We need to think of Lent as our “recovery” program that leads to a new way of living! That, of course, begins with abstaining from unhealthy behaviors but must also include a plan for a new way of living as a disciple of Jesus Christ—a life that takes on a new meaning. Fasting (giving things up) is only one spoke of a wheel that includes two other very important spokes: prayer and almsgiving, both of which are the “taking on” of something new, not just a “giving up.”

One of the things that I am most proud of with regards to this blog is the rich treasure chest of Lenten resources that we have developed over the years. These nurture your own spirituality as a catechist and engage those you teach during this extraordinary 40-day season, so that Lent can be an experience that far exceeds giving things up.

With that in mind, it’s that time once again to turn our attention to the season of Lent—can you believe it? Ash Wednesday is just weeks away and so, to help you prepare, I’d like to draw your attention to the Loyola Press Lenten microsite: Lent—Resources for Your Lenten Journey. There you will find a vast treasure chest of resources pertaining to the following:

May this Lent be a season of “recovery” for us and for those we teach: an opportunity to find a new way of living.

About Joe Paprocki 2321 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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